VE Day 2020 - Lest we forget our past insurance colleagues and friends


In a guest blog for youTalk-insurance, Managing Director Paul Handleigh reminds us to spare a thought for our past insurance colleagues and friends as part of our VE Day celebrations this Friday.   

Friday will be a cause for double celebration in my household. Admittedly the second cause for celebration will be more sombre, but it will be a celebration nonetheless.

Not only will my family and I be trying our best to give my youngest daughter Eloise the best possible seventeenth birthday party, no doubt ably assisted by Zoom, but we will also be making the time, along with the rest of the nation, to pause for thought, remember and celebrate the lives and achivements of 'The Greatest Generation' without whom life today would be very different.

As part of our individual reflections, it would be heart-warming to think that we might also spare a thought for the brave men and women in the insurance sector that stood in defiance of tyranny and answered our nations call by playing an invaluable role in securing the peace and prosperity that we enjoy today and perhaps at times, if we’re honest, take for granted.

I haven’t had the time to research the full extent of the contribution made by insurance folk to the war effort, both in terms of military and civilian service, however, it is certain that it was considerable.

Just a few minutes of Google searching this afternoon when I decided to write this blog revealed that Aviva and its legacy companies alone had 7,800 members of staff that served in the armed forces.  Sadly 698 are known to have died.     

In the midst of the current crisis we find ourselves in, it’s been heartening to see the insurance community coming together and displaying some of the very same traces of selflessness and stoicism that carried our colleagues in bygone times through.  I believe we honour our past colleagues when we do this.

It’s refreshing to reflect that times, technology and traditions may change, but thankfully the innate goodness and determination in people does not.

Enjoy your extended weekend.


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Founder and Managing Director of the completely FREE and independent insurance news, video and thought leadership multimedia website for insurance and risk professionals.

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